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Asian stocks set for mixed session as investors await Fed

1 week ago 5
Business

Asian shares were set for a mixed open on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's view on the economy at the end of its policy meeting, although upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic data is likely to give sentiment a tailwind.

Passersby wearing protective masks walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei averag Passersby wearing protective masks walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average, in Tokyo

NEW YORK: Asian shares were set for a mixed open on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's view on the economy at the end of its policy meeting, although upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic data is likely to give sentiment a tailwind.

Global equities markets rallied on Tuesday, first on data that showed China's industrial output and retail sales picked up, and later on an increase in U.S. factory production.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.75per cent in early trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 futures slid 0.13per cent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures rose 0.33per cent.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.01per cent.

Commodity-linked currencies such as the Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian dollars gained after the positive Chinese data.

But with U.S. lawmakers at an impasse over a new stimulus package, concerns about the economic recovery remained and investors' attention shifted to the two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, which started on Tuesday.

"There is some expectation that with the U.S. Congress unwilling/unable to agree to a new fiscal package, monetary policy may need to step in to fill the void," NAB analyst Tapas Strickland said in a note. "Accordingly markets will be focused on any changes to forward guidance and to any balance sheet adjustments."

The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England announce their respective policy decisions on Thursday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.65per cent higher on Tuesday.

U.S. stocks ended off their session highs, with the Dow industrials closing little changed.

Apple Inc retraced earlier gains after its product event, which included the roll-out of a new virtual fitness service and a bundle of its subscriptions into Apple One. The stock, which often dips after a run-up prior to the event, closed up 0.2per cent.

The S&P 500 gained 0.52per cent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1.21per cent.

U.S. retail sales figures from August will also be in focus on Wednesday.

Separately, the World Trade Organization found on Tuesday that the United States had breached global trading rules by imposing multi-billion dollar tariffs in President Donald Trump's trade war with China, a ruling that drew anger from Washington.

(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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